WTA Saturday Tennis Picks, Predictions: Kudermetova to Defuse Alexandrova’s Game (June 11)
BSR Agency/Getty. Pictured: Veronika Kudermetova.
It’s been an exciting week of tennis and we are down to the semifinals in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Nottingham.
I’ve found two spots on Saturday’s slate of matches where value has presented itself.
Read on for my best bets and previews.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Ekaterina Alexandrova (-116) vs. Veronika Kudermetova (+100)
5 a.m. ET, WTA ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Ekaterina Alexandrova dominated Caty McNally in the quarterfinals, winning 6-0, 6-1.
Alexandrova won 80% of her service points and didn’t face a break point all match. The Russian also won 68% of her return points and broke serve in five of six return games. Alexandrova’s controlled aggression crushed McNally’s game.
Ever since coming two points away from defeat in the first round against Dayana Yastremska, Alexandrova has won six sets in a row in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
She has won over 70% of her first-serve points for five sets in a row, as well. Alexandrova is now 20-13 in her career on grass, with her big-serving, aggressive baseline game creating issues for opponents, particularly. in quick conditions.
Veronika Kudermetova played at an excellent level in her 6-4, 6-2 quarterfinal victory over Belinda Bencic.
On her own serve against Bencic, Kudermetova won 75% of her first serves and wasn’t broken all match. On return, she did a good job of blunting Bencic’s first serve, as she won 39% of her first-serve returns and broke Bencic three times. The Russian’s baseline game was outstanding.
Kudermetova has only been broken three times all week, while holding each opponent to under 70% of their first serves won.
Overall, Kudermetova has a 16-11 professional record on grass, but her game suits the surface fairly well. Kudermetova is aggressive on return, does well to maintain control of the baseline and she has groundstrokes that cut through the court nicely.
Her comfortable victory over a top player in Bencic showed that she is maturing as a grass-court player and better understands how to play grass-court tennis. Kudermetova is moving well on grass and striking the ball very well.
Kudermetova absorbs pace well and doesn’t give up the baseline easily. This will be useful against Alexandrova’s big game, where getting big serves and groundstrokes back in play in order to force Alexandrova to hit into smaller and smaller targets becomes very important.
Her own serve has been effective this week and she won’t give Alexandrova many opportunities on return.
Pick: Kudermetova (+100 via FanDuel)
Beatriz Haddad Maia (-140) vs. Tereza Martincova (+114)
6 a.m. ET, WTA Nottingham
Beatriz Haddad Maia upset Maria Sakkari in three sets to advance to the semifinals of Nottingham.
Haddad Maia won 77% of her service points and was only broken twice all match. On return, Haddad Maia won 59% of her second-serve return points. The Brazilian looked at home on grass and understood how to built points.
Despite not being known as a grass-courter, it’s no surprise that she has a 16-10 record on grass in her career. Haddad Maia, a finalist at this year’s Australian Open doubles tournament, has looked comfortable coming to the net, which is so important on grass.
Haddad Maia also plays an aggressive baseline style which puts opponents under pressure on quicker surfaces.
Tereza Martincova easily defeated Shuai Zhang in straight sets to advance to the semifinals. Martincova served well, winning 71% of her service points and not getting broken all match. She also won 18-of-25 second-serve return points and broke Zhang’s big serve four times.
Martincova has a 22-18 professional record on grass and, while she doesn’t have overwhelming power, she moves well and understands shot selection on grass. Martincova moves the ball around the court well and has solid passing shots when opponents come to the net.
While Haddad Maia has the better overall Elo rating of the two, Martincova has the higher grass-court Elo. Haddad Maia has a powerful baseline game and good net play, but Martincova’s excellent grass-court movement and precise passing shots can help to extend rallies and make Haddad Maia rethink coming to the net.
Martincova – not known to be a huge server – has faced three break points all week and has only been broken once. She’s in the zone this week and using the grass to give her a little extra pop on her serve.
Pick: Martincova ML (+114 via FanDuel)